Journal of Romance Studies

The aesthetic/ecstatic time of the Proustian sentence

Journal of Romance Studies (2005), 5, (2), 19–36.

Abstract

This article is based on various close readings of passages, key moments or key sentences taken from À la recherche du temps perdu. The methodology of such close reading is inspired by Proust’s analysis of Flaubert’s tenses, by Malcolm Bowie’s chapter on time in Proust Among the Stars, and by the writings of Bataille, Agamben, Pater and Blanchot. The notions of aesthetic and ecstatic times are introduced to create a theoretical framework for the analysis of time in La Recherche, which is itself placed within a wider Modernist context. However, the oscillation between aesthetic and ecstatic times seems unsatisfactory, and Bataille’s concept of ‘Expérience intérieure’ becomes the backbone of a new approach to the experience of time in La Recherche.

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Millot, Catherine (1991) La Vocation de l’écrivain (Paris: Gallimard). La Vocation de l’écrivain Google Scholar

Nerval, Gérard de (1994) Les Filles du Feu/Les Chimères, ed. Jacques Bony (Paris: Flammarion). Les Filles du Feu/Les Chimères Google Scholar

Proust, Marcel (1987–9) À la recherche du temps perdu, 7 vols (Paris: Gallimard, Folio). À la recherche du temps perdu Google Scholar

Proust, Marcel (1993) ‘À propos du “style” de Flaubert’, in Journées de lecture (Paris: Éditions 10/18, Union Générale d’Éditions), 114–31. À propos du “style” de Flaubert Journées de lecture 114 31 Google Scholar

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Shattuck, Roger (2000) Proust’s Way (New York: Norton). Proust’s Way Google Scholar

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Azérad, Hugo